A John Oliver Net Neutrality Rant Has Crippled The FCC Website A Second Time
from the once-more-into-the-breach dept
Back in 2014, you might recall that John Oliver’s HBO show “Last Week tonight” aired an outstanding piece on net neutrality. In it, Oliver compared then FCC boss Tom Wheeler to a dingo, explained why a neutral internet was important, and trashed much of the flimsy logic giant ISPs like Comcast use to consistently justify anti-competitive behavior. The piece was so immensely successful at explaining an incredibly complicated and relatively wonky subject, it drove a record number of annoyed consumers to the FCC commenting website — where they demanded the FCC step up and defend the open internet.
That public outcry was a major reason Wheeler decided to reclassify ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act — and pass real net neutrality rules in 2015.
In this new video, Oliver notes that he registered the gofccyourself.com domain, making it simpler for annoyed net neutrality supporters to find the relevant FCC proceeding comment section on the agency’s website. And, once again, it appears that the FCC’s website was crippled by the massive influx of viewers. Shortly after the program aired, the FCC website collapsed under heavy load, and continued to suffer from issues throughout Monday (though there’s an alternative way to file your comments to the FCC via this link).
In his piece, Oliver once again urged those that care about an open internet to step up to the plate. And given net neutrality’s massive, bipartisan appeal, he suggested that “Donald Trump’s internet fans” should lend a hand:
“Every internet group needs to come together like you successfully did three years ago,” Oliver declared. “Every subculture must join as one. Gamers, YouTube celebrities, Instagram models, and even Tom from MySpace, if you’re still alive.” Oliver also implored “Donald Trump’s internet fans on sites like 4Chan and Reddit” to join the fight. “This subject is one of the things that we actually really agree on,” Oliver said.
Since data shows that satirists often do a better job informing the public than many actual news outlets, net neutrality supporters hope that Oliver’s second piece on the subject livens up what has been a fairly tepid and apathetic public reaction to the killing of the rules. ISPs and Pai hope to capitalize on debate fatigue and fractured attention spans when the agency votes to launch a notice of proposed rulemaking on May 18 to begin dismantling the rules. From there, the public commenting period will be extended until a finalizing vote later this year.